Features

It’s the Final Bandcamp Friday of the Year, So Let’s Support Some Local Musicians

Fran – photo by Julian Ramirez

December is here and 2020 is finally coming to an end. That also means that it’s the last Bandcamp Friday of the year. This new tradition of Bandcamp waiving their fees on the very first Friday of the month has been going on for months now. They’ve committed to Bandcamp Friday to the end of the year, giving the music community a much needed boost in these COVID affected times. This fantastic monthly event has allowed more money to reach the artists and their labels, especially since tons of fans have flooded the website to support their favorites and keep great music going during these hard times. This is the last time you can put all your purchasing power directly to artists and labels this year, so make it a good one!

Bandcamp Friday will be happening all day until midnight PDT tonight. If you’re unsure what time it all ends in your timezone, check isitbandcampfriday.com for exactly how much time you have left to jump in on the sales effort.

As with every edition of this feature, we’ve add a few more local acts the we highly suggest you check out. And don’t forget to head over to your favorite artists’ Bandcamp pages and see what they’ll be doing for today’s push to support quality music! And for those of you who have meticulously curated Spotify playlists, we suggest using Merch Table to see what artists are on Bandcamp so you can support directly.

Below is our running list of Chicago-based acts we definitely think you should check out if you haven’t already! We also recommend you check out some of the great compilations that help support various causes.  The SituationChicago compilation benefits 25 venues in the city and has tracks for the likes of Jeff Tweedy, Ric Wilson, Girl K, Rich Jones, Ovef Ow, The Curls, and tons more! Warm Violet is a 46 (!) song comp that benefits Chicago Community Jail Support and features a plethora of arts you should be listening to anyway!

Mick Fansler of The Curls – Julian Ramirez

The Flat Five – photo by Julian Ramirez

  • The Flat Five are a Chicago supergroup that we absolutely adore. Kelly Hogan, Nora O’Connor, Scott Ligon, Casey McDonough, and Alex Hall make up the band with decades worth of their musical expertise! Their slightly twisted dulcet tones are a sure fire way to make their trying times feel a little better. Check out their debut album It’s a World of Love and Hope (with songs written by fellow Chicago mainstay Chris Ligon) and their recently released Another World this Bandcamp Friday.
  • Fran‘s guitar-driven songs with extraordinary vocals are perfect for these physical distancing times
  • Ganser – Need some downright incredible rock music to pulse through your veins? Look no further than Ganser’s exhilarating sound, especially right now since their newest album Just Look at That Sky is out now! Let yourself melt into Alicia Gaines’ range of confident vocals and snarls and the band’s raw post-punk surge. The first pressing of their album is sold up, but the second pressing (on an even cooler color vinyl) is available now! Plus the band is offering up some incredible prints this time around with $1 from each print sale going towards The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
  • Girl K – You can’t get much better than Katherine Patino’s excellent project! Check out our review of their set with Charly Bliss from TNK!
  • Good Fuck is experimental madness from Tim Kinsella and Jenny Pulse. To put it simple, it’s fucking good.
  • The Glow Ups Chicago-based, punk rock trio features Mike Licari (Bass/Vocals), Kevin De Leon (Drums), and Brian Perfect (Guitar/Vocals). After a series of three separately released singles, the band officially released its debut album, Take Your Tapas Off, on April 27. Accompanied by the band’s “down to earth” nature, their songs take you on a voyage of pop-punk nostalgia. They hold the central theme of “not having to impress anybody” and you witness this in their lyrical storytelling—comprising real-life stories and experiences.
  • Half Gringa has a new album out right now! Force to Reckon is exactly that, giving you some much needed new tunes from Isabel Olive!
  • The Hecks – Great local band balancing angular post-punk and catchy synth rock, with an awesome live show to boot.
  • Hushdrops
  • Impulsive Hearts makes sun-soaked tunes that will make staying at home way better. Her latest album Cry All The Time is a perfect example of her sound and another great record for summer (or whenever!). She also recently released “Dearie” and all proceeds of “Dearie” will be donated to Chicago’s Brave Space Alliance.
  • Jeremy Cunningham’s latest album The Weather Up There is one to behold. Written in response to the loss of his brother, the jazz album is a powerful listen as it ruminates on its heavy themes perfectly. It’s a must-listen-to album.
  • Jessica Risker — psychedelic folk musician and sound designer making some excellent tunes to chill out to.
  • Joan of Arc is coming to end and recently released their final album Tim Melina Theo Bobby. This genre hopping band has been going two and a half decades with a rotating lineup always lead by the formidable Tim Kinsella. Check out this amazing local act before they call it a legacy.

Jordanna – Photo by Geoff Stellfox

Lala Lala – Photo by Julian Ramirez

NNAMDÏ – photo by Julian Ramirez

  • NNAMDÏ released a new album KRAZY KARL for the last Bandcamp Friday and it’s another amazing addition to his already excellent discography. Speaking of which, have you picked up Brat? How about Drool? No? Then drop what your doing and definitely support this great artist.
  • Ocean Cult
  • OHMME are such a fantastic band that are delivering some of the best experimental rock you’ll hear today! They’ve just released their second full length album Fantasize Your Ghost. It’s a fantastic followup to Parts, evolving their sound as they always do. Check out our thoughts on their single “The Limit” and our review of the album here!
  • ONO
  • Oux

Ovef Ow – Photo By Julian Ramirez

Ratboys – photo by Julian Ramirez

Sen Morimoto – photo by Julian Ramirez

  • Sen Morimoto not only makes incredibly catchy tunes and is about to release what’s sure to be another banger of an album, he also has strong convictions and an unwavering sense of what is right. Sen was taken off the Millennium Park at Home virtual music series earlier this year for choosing not to alter his criticism against Lori Lightfoot and her response to protests happening in Chicago. Seriously support this fantastic musician and don’t let DCASE’s action silence his voice any more than it already tried.
  • Serengeti is technically on the list twice, but with good reason. The man makes some of the weirdest hip hop and is prolific. A Couple months ago he dropped a new album, the gentle fall, so what better time to pick it up than on a Bandcamp Friday!
  • ShowYouSuck
  • Slow Pulp just released a new album and we’re big fans of it! Check out our thoughts here!
  • Spun Out was birthed from the ashes of NE-HI. Members of that incredible band found renewed interest in other projects (we’ve already mentioned DEHD) but also gave birth to Spun Out’s alluring synths and undeniable grooves. Their debut album is a must listen affair that will help pass the nights away in the best way possible.
  • TALSounds
  • Tara Terra

Tasha – photo by Julian Ramirez

  • Tasha’s incredible voice is unparalleled, making her already ethereal tracks all the more alluring and enjoyable. After Sen Morimoto was taken off the Millennium Park at Home virtual music series earlier this year, Tasha decided to pull her performance in support of Sen. in these hard and troubling times, we have to stick together and fight for what’s right, and Tasha has showed that in full effect.
  • Tenci just released My Heart is an Open Field and it’s a wonderful album that really emphasizes Tenci’s minimalist style, letting her voice and lyrics capture you in ways few albums can.
  • Twin Peaks
  • Uma Bloo
  • uuskhy

V.V. Lightbody – photo by Julian Ramirez

Also let’s not forget these incredible local labels.

There are plenty of other great bands on Bandcamp, so take a look around and discover something new! If you have any recommendations, comment below and spread the love because everybody needs it right now.

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